Lemmy: ‘Hip Hop Is Not Music’

While we love Motorhead, this needs commentary:

Never one to mince his words, Motörhead front man Lemmy Kilmister recently shared his views on the state of modern music with Atlantic City Weekly. When asked to express his thoughts on hip hop, the metal legend had the following to say:

“Why should I do that when it’s not music… There’s nothing creative about doing that [rapping] over music someone else created. They go out and take John Bonham’s drumming. I don’t call that music. You think they [rappers] could come up with sounds of their own, even some basic sounds and they can’t do it. Sad.”

Lemmy: ‘Hip Hop Is Not Music’

Not to offend one of the gods of metal, but:

  1. We disagree: we think hip-hop is music. It is organized sound; it uses rhythm primarily, but also incorporates some melodic snippets. That it is borrowed and requires less musical ability is somewhat irrelevant. Compared to Beethoven or Mozart, who could improvise structured pieces with ease and even re-configure to change the emotional direction of the piece on the fly, we’re all just about that untalented and derivative.
  2. The bigger point is that type of music determines the audience it attracts, and says a lot about them. People who like hip-hop are blockheads. They’re the same blockheads who were listening to disco in the 1970s, techno in the 1980s, grunge in the 1990s and nu-indie in the 2000s. They follow the trend because it’s “different” and have zero clue that the trend is actually just the latest manifestation of the same average stuff that people always chase. Hip-hop isn’t revolutionary; it’s no different than rock, if you replace the guitars with samples. Same song structures, roughly the same topics, even the same type of person producing it. These guys aren’t out there committing crimes and accidentally having musical careers; they’re committing crimes as a calculated status boost for their musical careers. They probably played first violin in high school band. It’s about the money.
  3. Populist music sucks because it chases trends and thus has no depth. It’s all appearance, nothing under the surface. But that’s what is called for. If you want music many people like all at once, it has to be similar to other things they already like but so they don’t feel cheated, it has to appear to be “different.” You win the multi-million dollar lottery if you take yesterday’s songs and make them seem fresh and exciting today. Whether that music is rap, rock, techno, indie, emo, screamo, disco or hip-hop, it’s all the same crap. Metal is the exception.

Sensible people know that elitism in music means you value quality over quantity. If you want quantity, you chase trends and get more of the same old crap, tricked out to be new. If you want quality, you are very careful about what you listen to and keep the best around. This however means you’ll never be trendy, which is why metal is inherently elitist: we don’t want to be part of the trends not to be “different” like hipsters/poseurs, but because we want higher quality music so we have a more intense experience.

If you want to know why rap, rock et cetera are incompatible with metal, that’s a good place to start your thinking. Lemmy is kick-starting the process to warm over a little tepid controversy to sell Motorhead’s 415th album, which is due out next month and is titled The Argle-Bargle of the Whatdumacallit or something similarly gnomic.

0 thoughts on “Lemmy: ‘Hip Hop Is Not Music’”

  1. Lil Wayne says:

    Bullshit, rap is better than that faggot white shit like mozarrt or whatever that fag is. all those fags could do was play some faggoty fiddle or piano shit, you think that gonna get you laid? Fuck it they all queers anyway

  2. fuckass says:

    Lemmy’s an old fart, cut him some slack yo.

  3. Levy_Spearmen says:

    “We disagree: we think hip-hop is music.”

    And I think you are annoying for pointing out such an obvious fucking idea and writing a paragraph about it. Just accept that Lemmy is one of the last English ubermensch and ubermensch always agree that the inferior is not reality. Hip-hop is not music.

  4. might not be relevant to the topic but who cares ? says:

    This kicks most crossover rap-rock bands, because it actually blends the best of both worlds and is played with more passion than any band who tried to play both at once : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1xr98r0sH6k

  5. ex-hipster says:

    some rap/hiphop/whateverthefuck i found while i was going through an “open-minded” phase. i still think the atmosphere created is interesting. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QTeIq8CCG3s&feature=fvwrel

  6. duh says:

    Come on guys… Obviously when he said hip hop isn’t music, it was a turn of speech. When you say, “this album is a turd,” it’s clear you don’t literally mean the album is a colon-shaped piece of shit.

  7. Murderer says:

    This article actually sounded reasonable until you got to point 2. Then it went into a groan-inducing derpout. I’ve managed to find hip hop music that I could actually call artistic and relatable to me. Not my fault you’re American, all your cultural products suck and the only noteworthy rap is made by negroes.

    Since I mentioned point 2, I should comment on what I caught a glimpse of before my brain reeled at hearing any more of that retardation. Metal is no different from hip hop and rock in “song structures”. There is no set formula for either, but there’s plenty of metal bands adopting the verse/chorus/bridge formula. None of the bands on your “best of” list are the exception to this. I don’t know why you imbeciles keep going on about some revolutionary song structures in metal which clearly aren’t present. If anything the opposite is true, black metal is even more dumbed down, repetitive and simplified.

    And that Dalek clip sounded pretty killer, thanks for posting it.

  8. Voodoo, wonderful my magic says:

    Damn, that Arrested Development song was awesome! Kudos to whoever posted that. Did that really come out in 1992? That’s fucking mind-blowing, when you consider that LL Cool J released the pedestrian Mama Said Knock You Out a few years later. Fuck it, this thread is now about good hip hop, post some more. I’d put some examples I like but it’s in a language unfamiliar to any of you so the subtleties are lost.

  9. whatever says:

    Hip Hop is the sound that is created when 1000 apes are trying to accidentally write Shakespeare. Damn that just sounded racist.

  10. T.G. says:

    I don’t even like metal at all and I can hear the song structures these guys talk about in the music they recommend. I think people are claiming that those structures aren’t present because they think that arguing about taste in music on the internet is actually important. You should probably go outside for a little bit.

  11. lol "neoclassical" my ass says:

    OK chief, please point out to me how these “song structures” exist here (on what is apparently the best death metal record of all time)


    This is a verse-chorus song if I’ve ever heard one, and a bad one at that. Also, metal didn’t introduce unconventional song structure to popular music, that was being done since before rock even existed, and by some of the very progenitors of rock, not to mention the prog rock explosion… metal fucking fails, as music, as art, as a subculture, in every single way.

  12. lol says:

    lol Dalek, I guess that shit might sound good if your brain is completely fried by indulging in too many hallucinogens.

  13. T.G. says:

    I could really care less if its neoclassical or not. Why are you mocking the use of that term? Oh that’s right, you think competing with others over music taste on the internet is a very important issue. Also, I think there’s several reviews here that blatantly state that the material being reviewed makes use of variations of repetition in theme that resemble verses and choruses, sort of like how those prog rock musicians you mentioned tended to do sometimes. Like I said, you should probably go outside for a bit.

  14. Tres Gay (T.G.) says:

    You should probably grab your dad’s gun and put a speed hole or two into your skull, I hear it helps oxygenate the brain. Just sayin’.

  15. ASPO says:

    >I could really care less

    So that means you care?


  16. Jake says:

    Trepanation FTW

  17. T.G. says:

    As in I’m apathetic towards the idea, i.e. I could care more or less. Nice job zeroing in on one portion of the comment to fuel your nerd-rage.

  18. Deterioration says:

    Hip Hop is a legetimate mode of expression of the down trodden, underdog pariah dog type mentality. Initially it meant something to the negroes that created it but later it was usurped by a commercial variation of the same and marketed to the dregs of almost any nationality, I guess they can relate to it.

  19. Dildonte Jones says:

    lol @ all these people who think they are superior to me. You can live a life in illusion all you want, but you’re not fooling anyone. What you say about music has no more weight than what I or anyone else has to say, so come off your high horse and stop pretending you are better than everyone else, because you’re not! You are so stupid you don’t even realize that we all have opinions and that doesn’t make you better or worse than other people.

  20. Dildoes Jones says:


  21. =) says:

    lol yay!

  22. ANUS approved hip hop. says:

    Happy international SLAYER day, this shit is nigga approved:


  23. funny video says:


  24. بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

    MC Ren “Attack on Babylon”: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UwC7TdWAI6A

    Public Enemy “Shut ‘Em Down”: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LB4D-GbQ9A4

    Sheikh Terra feat. Soul Salah Crew “By Any Means Necessary”: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MDkGZkD6k_Y

  25. BlackMetal is abbreviated BM (Bowel Movement) says:


    Yeah the honkies really use hip-hop as if it’s their own. Weird. :D

  26. Cocktorn says:

    Hip hop is kinda okay, I guess.

  27. JuggaloHomie1488 says:

    Neoclassical antichristian rapper who murdered a priest and his family:


    Yeah he’s white…

  28. fuckmanshit says:

    People who like hip-hop are blockheads. They’re the same blockheads who were listening to disco in the 1970s, techno in the 1980s, grunge in the 1990s and nu-indie in the 2000s.

    —-You guys are ass fucks. Do you really take yourselves seriously with this shit?

  29. dickass man says:

    lol look at all these nerds over here making jokes about dicks and asses

  30. Dwayne Elizondo Mountain Dew Herbert Camacho Jr. says:

    “People who like hip-hop are blockheads. They’re the same blockheads who were listening to heavy metal in the 1970s, thrash metal in the 1980s, death & black metal in the 1990s, and desperately hanging onto more of the same in the 2000s.”

    Fixed that for you, champ.

  31. T.G. says:


  32. you're a faggot bro, you "don't even like metal" yet you come here says:

    If what you like in music isn’t important then why does this site even exist, constantly bitching about this and that in metal?

  33. Solipsist says:

    This group uses a Led Zeppelin bass-line (though I guess not a John Bonham beat I suppose) in their last song here. Rapper Free enjoys Cryptopsy and Demilich, while Kid Crimson is more of a 21st Century schizoid man.


  34. T.G. says:

    Funny, I see most of the writers of the website discussing things that have little or nothing to do with metal. This page is very rarely updated, and when it is, it’s normally far less of a nerd-rage crusade (such as what you insist upon) and a statement of preference. You should really, really consider going outside.

  35. Tres Gay (T.G.) says:

    >it’s normally far less of a nerd-rage crusade

    Uhh, wasn’t there just a post urging every virgin who stumbles here to make poop jokes on the Gojira board? You’re a dumbass, pipe down please. Also literally every page on anus.com/metal (the DLA) mentions metal in some way, even the title, so shut the fuck up.

  36. T.G. says:

    Did you lose your virginity to a chubby, sweaty whore in highschool? That must have been fun. I said the writers at ANUS rarely mentioned metal, and mentioned how the DLA was rarely updated, I didn’t claim that the DLA rarely mentioned metal. Most of the writing that I see the ANUS staff doing promotes family and community oriented values. That’s a terrible thing, isn’t it? Also, I’m sure the writers here didn’t bank the entire value of their lives on the trolling that happened at the Gojira website, where as you seem to think it’s the most imperative thing in the world that people agree with you.

  37. get me outa here... says:

    Family is boring shit for gay fucking humanists…

  38. christian ANUS want's to castrate you says:

    Your TRIBE is important. The family you are born into is ghey fucking shit. Start your own family, find a tribe.

  39. T.G. says:

    I can’t get hard unless someone pees in my mouth

  40. Cargast says:

    My brain always feels fucked after I’ve read the comments on these posts.

    I’m still trying to work out how that Massacra song is verse/chorus.

  41. T.G. says:

    I can also get hard if someone tells me how awesome my taste in music is, because I’m 16.

  42. DLA Comment Troll says:

    I can also get hard if an African American midget injects a mixture of 50% cat feces / 50% AIDS infected chimpanzee blood into my anus. Ahhhh yeah, that’s the stuff.

  43. T.G. says:

    You’re making me hard, bro!

  44. lol poop jokes says:

    I take rappers and gojira and serious discussion of popular music very seriously

  45. JuggaloHomie1488 says:

    These are probably the best lyrics ever written:

    I love the theme of responsibility. How many other artist sing about being responsible? Not a single metal band does, that’s for sure. Rap is more mature music than metal, I think that’s why Lemmy is frustrated.

  46. JuggaloHomie1488 says:

    I listen to Insane Clown Posers while a big black meatpole is in my mouth. The recordings they produce are just the two members getting rammed by black cocks so I can identify with this band wholeheartedly.

    If you can’t understand this, I’ll sum it up. I’m a black cocklover. :)

  47. Secular Humanist says:

    Hip-Hop is good music, and part of the noble African-American struggle against Whitey’s oppression. Lemmy is just being down-right RACIST!

    Whitey stole all their music anyway.

  48. T.G. says:

    Wow, juggalo! We have so much in common! Share that black cock with me, homeboy.

  49. JuggaloHomie1488 says:

    fuck all tha haterz

  50. JuggaloHomie1488 says:

    Yo I bet all u haterz is hipsterz who only kno bout ICP what tha fake ass liberal media tells u. ICP is tha new white uberman, deal wid it. Every juggalo is a white power soldier. 14/88

  51. JuggaloHomie1488 says:

    Mmm…..I just swallowed a big black load. T.G., if you’re really interested, maybe we can meet at the nightclub “Swinging Richards(Dick)”. I would love for you to pound my sphincter sometime. ;)

  52. T.G. says:


  53. nooga says:

    There’s a documentary about Lemmy coming out and it has all his cock rock buddies going “he’s such a badass!” while it shows a close up of Marlboros and a bottle of Jack Daniels. People make Lemmy and lets say, Johnny Cash out like they’re genuine outlaws with serious fighting skills when they’re just out of shape old men propped up onstage with a guitar going through motions they’ve lost the inspiration for loooooooong time ago. As far as stupid rebel rock n roll about downing tons of drugs and fucking people up goes I’d rather listen to GG Allin because atleast he was honest.

  54. nooga says:

    Because eating poop on stage and dying of an OD is the most rebellious thing one can do.

  55. niigo says:

    Because disregarding moral values and being elite is the most rebellious thing one can do.


  56. nuuga says:

    Because sucking cock and smoking crack is the most rebellious thing once can do.

  57. The Great Milenko says:

    Johnny Cash is dead, you fuck. Motorhead completely blows though, fucking one hit wonder band right there. Only 12 year olds like that shit.

  58. The Great Stinko says:

    Use deodorant you juggalo fuck.

  59. The Great Milenko says:

    I’m 12 and what is this

  60. True Story says:

    I’ve been into death metal since I was 10 years old. I saw Morbid Angel live in 1987, Obituary in 1989, Deicide in 1990. I have over 1500 death metal cd’s in my collection. But damn when is there going to be a movie about metal that is as good as Notorious? I haven’t listened to much death metal since I saw that movie, it’s all about Biggie Smalls, 50 Cent and Eminem for me now. Someone should make a movie about Chuck before I give up on death metal completely.

  61. Metalheadz 4 christ says:

    They already made a movie about Chuck, it’s called Jesus Christ Superstar

  62. Dan says:

    Public Enemy. Ice Cube’s Amerikka’s Most Wanted. Roni Size. Dizze Rascal’s early stuff (all self produced, no samples). UGK, who were musically trained AND had to sell crack to get by. Shit, I could go on all day.

    Also, if were gonna talk elitism, you metal fuckers have nothing on the underground jungle techno scene in London in the early 90’s. In terms of sonic extremism, experimental drug use, instensity, and hot girls it blows you out of the water. And I say that as a huge fan of metal.

    I really can’t wait to start doing some serious genre miscegenation (tastefully) and playing shows. I hope you come, and heckle.

  63. alak says:

    Hip hop is music. But it’s gay.(and black)

  64. joe says:

    Haha, “the exception is metal.” EVERYTHING SUCKS EXCEPT WHAT I LIKE HURR

  65. bill says:

    why are people always saying whitey stole music ideas,who invented the radio

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